REVIEW: Thin Lizzy, City Hall

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THE problem with losing a frontman as iconic as Phil Lynott is, well, they are surely irreplaceable.

Such has been the issue for remaining members of a band that tendered more than its fair share of rock gems before calling time in 1984.

For the first time since long-standing Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham sought to revive the brand, however, they have the closest thing to Lynott in Belfast’s Ricky Warwick.

It’s not quite a case of close your eyes and it could be Lynott, but on their first Barkers Pool return since 2007 it’s live and dangerously close – the heavily-inked former singer of The Almighty handles Lizzy staples Waiting For An Alibi and The Boys Are Back In Town like they are his own.

The trademark twin Gibson sound underpinned by Gorham is matched for technique and stamina by Alice Cooper import Damon Johnson while fellow long-serving members Brian Downey and Darren Wharton add further familiarity on drums and keyboards respectively. Marco Mendoza plunders the bass to solid effect.

Many would argue it is near impossible to fail with a musical legacy that includes Whisky In A Jar, Emerald and Black Rose, but there’s a chemistry awash in this current line-up that makes this way more than a luxury tribute act.

Twenty six years after the tragic death of Lynott, there’s every chance the inimitable Dubliner would have approved of the cast carrying his band’s name so very well.